There is a special dilemma that exists when the affair partners work together.

When the Affair Partners Work TogetherBy Doug

I was reading somewhere that nearly 75% of men meet their affair partners at work. I can only assume that a similar statistic exists for women as well.

It only makes sense since many people spend almost half of their waking hours at work and with co-workers. Relationships are created and can get out of hand if boundaries are not in place and adhered to.

There is a special dilemma that exists when the affair partners work together though, and we hear about the consequences on a regular basis. It’s the continued contact.

If the affair partners continue to work together – and even if there is 100% proof that the affair is over – it is still a dangerous environment that creates temptation for the unfaithful spouse (CS), while the betrayed spouse (BS) is left trying to cope with more stress, anxiety and distrust.

Here are some excerpts from various emails we’ve received that demonstrate the dilemmas:

“My husband had an affair with a co-worker. He still works at the same job because there is no chance of finding a position elsewhere. He claims the sexual aspect of the affair is over, but it is obvious that the emotional part is still ongoing. They work on many projects together and there is no possibility of their ending their business relationship.”

“My wife has admitted to an affair with a co-worker and says the affair has ended. However she is very hesitant about going no contact by leaving her job. She is a type “A” personality and is very career-oriented and thinks she can continue to work with this guy. To me it seems her career is more important than our marriage.”

“I caught my husband having an affair with a co-worker. We have decided to stay together but my issue is that I can’t get past it because they still work together. He says he never sees or talks to her but I’m highly skeptical since he has lied so much during all of this. Is it right for me to demand that he find another job? I don’t work so we need his paycheck and without it would mean disaster.”

What stands out to you about these excerpts?

The points that kind of stick out the most to me are the seemingly absolute statements:

  • “He still works at the same job because there is no chance of finding a position elsewhere.”
  • “They work on many projects together and there is no possibility of their ending their business relationship”
  • “To me it seems her career is more important than our marriage.”
  • “I don’t work so we need his paycheck and without it would mean disaster.”
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These statements demonstrate an attitude that these individuals have no choices in their lives and that nothing can be done to improve or change the situation.

Boundaries After Betrayal – Everything You Need to Know

Having the affair involved choices, so now finding a way to recover and protect what’s left of the marital relationship requires choices. True, the consequences of those choices may indeed suck really bad, but choices do exist, nevertheless.

So what are some of the consequences and tradeoffs when the affair partners work together?

Here are some possibilities…

If the unfaithful spouse chooses to leave their job for the betterment of their spouse and family they may experience a sudden loss of income, opportunity for professional advancement and/or business opportunities. The loss could be temporary or possibly permanent.

If the unfaithful chooses to place a higher priority on their professional or financial betterment over that of their spouse and family the consequences and tradeoffs affect primarily the BS. First, the BS is going to be pissed as hell that their CS made another disappointing choice and will suffer more pain as they try to deal with the meaning behind the choice.

Secondly, they will suffer from high levels of ongoing distrust, stress, anxiety and suspicion, while interpreting the decision as a sign of a lack of compassion, a lack of caring and as a further rejection.

Potential Consequences When the Affair Partners Work Together:

    • Loss of trust: Staying in the same job with the affair partner could allow them to continue their affair, which would eventually lead to losing trust between the partners. They might doubt each other frequently, making their relationship fragile and vulnerable. Daily triggers and worry are probable. 
    • Emotional distance: If the affair partners still work together it could cause emotional distance between the couple, leading to less communication and less intimacy. Eventually, this would result in even more emotional disconnection between them.
    • Damage to self-esteem: The betrayed partner would feel low self-esteem, hurting their confidence and self-worth. It could lead to anxiety, stress, and depression, harming their mental health.
    • Difficulty working together: If both the partners decided to continue working in the same place, it could affect their productivity, confidence, and teamwork. Having awkward conversations or having to work together could become difficult and uncomfortable, affecting their work environment.
    • Financial instability: Infidelity in the workplace could lead to a loss of concentration and performance, resulting in a possibility of financial troubles, losing their job, and financial stability.
    • Legal and reputation issues: Infidelity is a breach of trust and could cause legal or reputation issues. It could lead to losing respect and damaging their reputation.
    • End of marriage: The worst potential consequence could be the end of their marriage. The emotional pain of infidelity could be too much to bear, leading to a painful divorce and irreparable emotional harm.
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There is no question that work is an important element in our lives – perhaps too important. But when the affair partners work together the issue is far more significant than the CS simply making a practical decision to stay in the job; it sends a signal that the job is a higher priority than the spouse or the marriage.

We have stated over and over that one of the main elements of a successful recovery after an affair is the strict adherence to the no contact rule. Thus, a primary mission for the parties involved is to be clear about their priorities and to make the proper choices that align with those priorities.

We have communicated with several people in the past who have chosen to take the route of what they felt was most important to their marriage over what was most important to their career and their bank accounts. Their routes included choices to quit jobs, ask for transfers to different locations, or simply packing up and moving to a different city. These choices may seem quite drastic, but they did what they felt they had to do.

Now what if your spouse has a very, very specialized job or there are no other jobs in your area for the unfaithful person?

Dr. Kathy NickersonLicensed clinical psychologist, author, and nationally recognized relationship expert, Dr. Kathy Nickerson suggests the following: 

“Most therapists would advocate for you to move and find a new job. I agree that this is the very safest thing to do, but it may not be what you want to do.

If your spouse loves his/her job and you love your home and your kids are happy in school, uprooting everyone might be too much…

Only you can decide if moving is really necessary to help you recover from the affair; if it is, it’s worth doing.

If you want to stay put and your spouse will stay in communication with the affair partner, here’s what I recommend:

  • Ask your spouse to limit communication with the affair partner to the greatest extent possible. If communication must happen, chose the least personal way possible (i.e., an email is less personal than a phone call or face-to-face meeting).
  • Encourage your spouse to install someone as a go-between or intermediary between himself and the affair partner (i.e. the office manager in the story with the doctor and nurse above).
  • Have a full disclosure policy, where your spouse is to tell you any/all communication and interaction with the affair partner.
  • Use all of the tech tools to help rebuild trust, like Skype or FaceTime (which shows you are where you say you are and who’s with you), Find a Friend App or other GPS tracker. Look for other apps that might be helpful.
  • Talk to your spouse about this week’s work schedule, so you’ll know what to expect. Plan to touch base every few hours with a quick text or phone call. Do this for as long as you need to.
  • Ask your spouse not to work late without informing you first. If it’s an emergency, your spouse should call you and ask for your blessing and the two of you could discuss further options (i.e., you could go to the office and make sure everything is ok…)
  • Ask your spouse not to ever be alone with the affair partner, which means no driving in the car alone together, no work lunches together, no business trips together. Exceptions could possibly be made in time as your comfort/trust increases.
  • Keep an eye on how money is being spent. It’s really hard for someone to relapse and have an affair if he/she doesn’t have access to secret money.”  You can read Dr. Nickerson’s full article here.
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Learn more about Dr. Nickerson’s latest book: The Courage to Stay: How to Heal From an Affair and Save Your Marriage


When the affair partners work together,  it obviously causes big problems. It also shakes the foundation of the betrayed spouse’s personal and family life.  It can levy more trauma upon them when their unfaithful partner chooses to prioritize their professional or financial betterment by continuing to work with their affair partner.

I certainly realize that changing employment isn’t always possible, but unfortunately this typically leaves the betrayed spouse feeling alone, questioning the value of their marriage and the level of commitment their partner has towards them and the family. It creates a wedge between them, making it more difficult for them to move forward and trust again. Plus, it could make the couple more distant from each other and hurt their family relationship.

Studies (and feedback from our readers) show that cheating in the workplace is very common, and as you probably know, can lead to psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and insecurity. The betrayed spouse requires reassurance and support in combating the emotional trauma and rebuilding the shattered trust.

If your, or your spouse’s affair partner was a co-worker – and remained so, what choices were made to help deal with the situation?  Please reply in the comment section below.  Thanks!

*This article originally posted on 10/27/2014 and updated on 4/18/2023

    94 replies to "When the Affair Partners Work Together"

    • gizfield

      I’m happy to say that I have managed to work at the same place 25 years, and managed to never become involved with a co worker. I have a nice looking very cool guy that’s sat behind me a couple of years. We talk some, and joke a bit. We don’t contact each other outside work.

      I just have to wonder about people who have these work affairs. Can they not be around the opposite sex without having inappropriate relationships? I don’t go there to carry on my social life. I go to earn money. Even if the cheater gets a new job, if they haven’t cleaned up their act, it will be the same story, just at a different place.

      • 2nd Time Around


        Yes, yes, and yes!! I agree work place affairs are just not acceptable in any way. Being a very A type personality I just think they are a recipe for disaster. I am the BS and my CS has his affairs yes plural all at his work place.

        No he cannot figure out how to be around the opposite sex without crossing lines even in the best of circumstances. It is his social world because he too is also an A type personality and that is the place he spend the majority of his time. And finally you are correct unless there is a serious change in behavior and boundaries it won’t matter how many time someone changes jobs they will end up right back where they started.

      • sal9396

        Well, I guess you are just so much more virtuous and strong than the many, many people who have had affairs with people they work with. But hey, thanks for letting everyone here know how much stronger you are than a lot of other people!

        • Ok, but…


      • Tamara

        Thank you for having integrity! I appreciate people like you

        • Cody

          I’m in the same situation. Just waiting on my kids to move out and I’m gone. I know I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life but I really don’t think I ever want to be married again. I know not everyone out there is selfish and there still are some good people in this world but I feel it’s not worth the effort and I now have trust issues. I feel like damaged goods, unwanted and now the lowest in life.

      • Amanda G

        So true! I’m unhappily married to a pos whose job hopped all over the country sleeping with coworkers. He’ll get caught, get fired and move onto the next. They never do stop.

    • exercisegrace

      My husband met his affair partner in the work environment and then they proceeded to start a business together. He ended the affair on his own, without being caught although I had been very suspicious for some time. She assured him it would be no problem for them to continue to run a business together. She claimed she could separate “work” from “personal”. He very much wanted to believe that, as this company was now our main source of income. What ended up happening is what I suspect happens in MOST of these cases. She continued to try to resume the affair. While it didn’t work she kept up a subtle campaign. He simply ignored it and “hoped” she would stop the behavior or leave. They spent a little over a year working together after the end of the affair. During this time he felt like a hostage. Her behavior could be erratic and unpredictable. He lived in fear of her outing the affair to me. As a result, he cut her more slack than he should have. He allowed her to continue to text, call or email him any day of the week and at all hours. It sent the wrong message and made her think she had a chance when there was none.

      On the marital side of the fence it created more emotional chaos for me. I STILL didn’t know there had been an affair, although I strongly suspected at some level. I could see him moving back towards me and the kids, but I was also confused that he wasn’t setting stronger boundaries with her. She finally got the message and left, but not without ugly legal wrangling, accusations and threats of lawsuits if we didn’t pay her the ridiculous sum of money she was trying to extort from us. There NO way I would have let him continue to work with her after I knew what happened.

      Bottom line? The only way my husband would be able to convince me the affair was really and truly over, and he wanted to rebuild our marriage? Would be if he was willing to step up and own the consequences of his bad choices. Leave the job. Accept what that brings, whether it is loss of income, title, opportunity for growth, etc. Even a dog knows better than to sh*t where it sleeps. If the two affair partners continue to work together, there is always drama. There is always some bad undercurrent. Not to mention that everyone they work with likely knows and likely assumes there is still something going on. I am willing to bet that people who choose to leave and move on have the better marriages in the long run. I would also wager that if you talked to them five years from now? They would say it was the best move they ever made. You simply can’t go wrong by making your spouse and your marriage the top priority in your life. Taking your lumps for your bad choices will pay off in better ways than salary in the long run.

    • Gizfield

      I’m curious, what happened in Doug’s work situation after his affair? You probably said and I forgot.

      • Doug

        Hey Giz. I left the employer that we both worked for and eventually left that industry all together and now work from home.

        • geogal

          How long did that process take? How long did you stay with that employer? (Was the other person from that job someone were there would still be some interaction just by being in the industry?)

          • Doug

            Hey geogal, I’m horrible with time lines and dates and such (especially from almost 10 years ago). After the EA ended, I continued working in the industry as a mortgage loan officer for a couple of months and then got out. It was the middle of the mortgage crisis and it made financial sense to do so. The OW was a Realtor, so yes, there would have been opportunity for continued interaction. But in my situation, there was none. I’ve not had any contact since the day the EA ended.

    • Broken2

      I can’t imagine living with the knowledge that my CS was going to work with an ex affair partner. Thankfully my husbands AP left his work before I even found out about her. I believe it forced the affair to be more open such as an increase in text messages and phone calls that eventually helped me to discover it.

      • Devastated in dublin

        I just found out…on my own that the harlot AP has returned to work from being out for surgery. My cs didn’t think I should know? So much for transparency.

    • Gizfield

      Thanks, Doug. It’s coming back to me now. Senility, you know.

      • Doug

        Nah, just selective forgetfulness! 😉

    • 2nd Time Around


      I agree with many of the points that you make. My husband had multiple EA’s with women he works with. When I discovered it I was and still at times am amazed at the level of stupidity and naivety on his part. You are correct you have to make a choice. We agreed that he would stay at his job only because we know that it is a matter of time before he will be promoted and no longer be in the physical location. His new position he will work from home part of the time and travel to multiple locations the rest of the time. One of the key factors for this working for us is that in the new position he will only have contact with men and will only be at each location for very brief periods of time. In the meantime he has also put in for a relocation with his company and continues to look for other opportunities. The priority is to do what is best for the marriage and we both have to agree on what that means.

      We also are in both personal therapy and marriage therapy. To some degree he made the bad choices that he did because of personal issues that he should have dealt with long ago. He has major boundary issues and has all of his life. He also have a big problem with conflict and making appropriate choices.

      For example if he doesn’t like something I do instead of telling me (because that would be conflict) he suppresses it. Eventually there are enough things that he is suppressing that he acts out like a child would act out when they don’t get there way. This is not an excuse for the behavior just the reality of the situation.

      It has been extremely hard for both of us. I am still very paranoid at times about what is “really going on” and I questions what message he is still sending to these women. I was reading the post about the “innocent things” and since at one point we worked together I know he has no understanding how something that what was intended to be innocent can be perceived as suggestive.

      He on the other hand because of his lack of boundaries and low self esteem struggles with making different choices. In the beginning I would push for him to make changes but that was just a losing battle. Now I just tell him how things make me feel and let him decide what choices to make. Since he is on the low end of the learning curve in all this most of his choices have not been good. But he is the one who has to own those choices not me.

      Like I said at the beginning I am still sometime amazed at the level of stupidity and naivety he shows. Recently we had a discussion about the “what if”. I posed this question to him: What if one of the women you were pursuing decide to turn the tables and become the purser? It never dawned on him that they might do that. REALLY???

      Another question I have asked repeatedly is what were these women getting out of these interactions you were having with them? We have determined what he was getting, he ego was being boosted, he was getting validation, affirmation, attention, and admiration. All the things that were missing from our relationship because of the resentment he had/has towards me for those unresolved conflicts so he didn’t want those things from me even though I never stopped giving them to him. He choice to not see them any more and create his own self-serving reality of me.

      Back to the question at hand what did these women get? We don’t know because he didn’t care what they got it was all about him. Yet another thing that could very well come back and bite him in the @#$! If they are not happy in their relationship or not in a relationship it is very possible they may come looking for the same things again. Whatever it got must have met some need they had or they wouldn’t have been doing it.

      So yes we have to make a choice and make a change but while we are making that happen life still goes on and these are the kinds of things that we deal with day to day.

      • Doug

        I hear ya 2TA. The OW in your husband’s case may indeed come back looking for something and you never know when the husbands of these women might come looking for something too – like a pound of flesh. I would venture to guess that most people – man or woman – act stupid or naive as they do not put a lot of thought into what they’re doing or what could be the possible consequences of their affairs. Anyways, I’m glad that there are plans in place for him to change certain aspects of his employment. I’m sure that can’t come soon enough for you.

        • 2nd Time Around


          Good point about the husbands!! I know that I sure have been tempted to do some damage!!

          You are so right change can’t come soon enough!!

          Thanks for being a voice of reason among CS! You give me hope that change is really possible.!!

      • Jennifer

        Wow! Your story of why he had the affair is exactly what my husband had described to me abut how he was feeling. He has always been very insecure and does not like conflict so he was very passive with me and as a result of that I would make all the decisions in the relationship. He became very resentful because he was stuffing his true feelings. He’s still in the affair fog stage. I have taken ownership of my part in the way I made him feel and want to work through things but he says he was unhappy before the affair and is afraid things will go back to the way they were with us so he keeps going back and forth with wanting to work on recovering or just parting ways. I’m not fully convinced that he has stopped the affair either. Also he is terrified of conflict and negative feelings and working through the affair would be very uncomfortable for him so he tries to avoid it. I don’t think he has what it takes too work through this. He keeps going back and forth with me and says he thinks hes done to much damage for me to get over what he did even though I keep telling him I want to work it out. I don’t want to loose everything we have work so hard for. I’ve invested everything I have in our life together and its not worth it to throw everything away over the fantasy life he thinks he had with this OW. I also love him and I know he loves me. He’s just so caught up in this euphoric fantasy.

      • Jo

        Yes, I am also wondering what my spouses EA partner got out of it. She’s single. Was it just the power to text she needed advice etc and know she’d get a call? She couldn’t even stop herself on my birthday when he took a few days off with me. And that really riles me up because he ‘had to’ respond to a friend and then chased after her again the next day to ‘check on her. Its how I figured it out when I saw him texting with a goofy lovesick smile and saw it was his ‘work wife’. I won’t ever use that term jokingly again. 3 months post DD now and still work together. He told her no calls etc and said she was ‘horrified’ as she hadn’t realised i hadn’t known about the months of late night calls when he was out exercising (10 – 11pm most nights, for 45 mins or so, even on weekends). It helps that we are in lockdown and he’s working from home but I am so worried it will flare up again in workplace. He says not happen because we are working on our unresolved issues (contributing factors I do acknowledge) and we are talking about things plus he is self aware in a way he wasn’t previously. Its hard as all his more significant friendships have been women and I trusted him and now he has broken that trust. He understands that too.

        • Ann

          Hi Jo. This is quite a similar situation to mine, except my husband’s affair was also physical (and now over a year since he stopped it). I believe my husband when he says he doesn’t want her, he wants me, and that he is sorry, etc. He says there will be no threat to me, but I am not happy about the thought of them working together again in the future. He cannot change jobs unless he changes career altogether or we move, and neither are practical or would really help our marriage. I have taken all year trying to come to terms with this – reading how I mustn’t ruin the future because of the past, but the triggers and practical problems still come daily. I don’t think changing careers is practical and it frustrates me when that’s all the advice that is ever given. Does anyone have any other useful advice?

    • CBB

      Big dilemma here!!!! The OW is not only a co-worker but is part of half my social circle. We had a posibility to move to the other side of the country but with a huge price to pay on my job and the kids leaving school and friends.
      Is leaving really the solution? True it would cut a lot of triggers for me but will it really ease the pain of betrayal? Isn’t exposure to the trauma more effective than running away? And even if it’s to hard to handle how far should you run? Will it solve boundery problems? Aren’t there dangerous OW everywhere? Are we going to give her the free ride by leaving?
      At the moment I’m coping having her around in the social life as long as my H is not there. Even them working together is not the issue it’s the knowledge of how manipulative she can be. Wether it is at work or dropping of the kids, she’ll find a way…; She’s now teaming up with one friend after the other in a “start-to-crawl” course, all of them start feeling hopeless after a while, admireing her as she is top of the class. Only I know that she was swimming competition in highschool! No need to inroll in a start-to-crawl course I would say….
      I’m pretty sure the affair has stopt but some sort of manipulated admiration of the way she sells herself as the ‘perfect women’ is wat bothers me most and the way she convinced my H it was only some stupid tekst-messages, much a do about nothing?! He does admit it wasn’t right but doesn’t want to face/admit the emence damage

      • Strengthrequired

        Cbb, your stronger than I am that’s for sure. I wouldn’t be able to stand seeing the ow anywhere near me, my h or my children. I don’t want her near any of us.
        While she was attached to my h hip, I was going crazy, so I jumper at the chance of getting away from her, thought my h was going to be with me, stay away from her, but as it turned out even me moving 2 hours away didn’t help at first, with keeping them apart. She actually figured it was her chance, and why wouldn’t she, I wasn’t around to stop them or find him with her to ruin their moment. Yet it didn’t stop them while I was around.
        What my move did do for me was I didn’t have the triggers, I was able to breathe easier, I was able to go places without thinking he had taken her there, or I would catch them together. It took a while to get there, due to my h never being around, but really he was never around before the move, because as I said she was attached to his hip, or his ear.
        So not having him around trying to hide his contact with her, and me not having that temptation to go out and catch them, it freed me to start being stronger, and had me ready to leave if he didn’t stop. Put it this way, he would not have been able to stop me, because he was too far away.
        What made it better that we moved was it made my h look at what life was going to be like, with me and his children not around him. It made him look at her for what she was, and made him look inside himself at who was more important to him, and was he ready to lose it.
        It took four months apparently, after our move, to drop her, but we still stayed apart due to the distance for another 18 months. He was able to look deep within himself during that time, it had him miss his family. So he tells me anyway.
        Yet in a way, the time apart turned out to be apart of my needed recovery, yes I missed my h, but i needed to be stronger for my children, and I couldn’t have done that without the move.
        my h knew that with all that time we were apart, that there was a chance I would leave, and he was right. If it wasn’t for the changes I had seen in him, I would have.
        Really what sort of life is it, to be married and only see your h of a weekend, or every second weekend. So feeling like I wasn’t wanted and only being kept around for the kids was easier for me to believe and easier for me to see that I could leave and not be stopped.
        So many times I would pick my children up from school, and I would take them for a drive and often considered just keeping on driving, ohhh how I just wanted to.
        So yes, I think a move can help with recovery, it would be different for you, as your h will be with you, un like mine was, but none the less it turned out beneficial for me.
        I think sometimes after such a huge setback in a marriage that a move can be good, it can signify a new change along with a new commitment to each other, less the baggage of a ow, that could be hanging around.
        You are right, there can be a ow around the corner, it doesn’t matter where you live, but if your h has learnt from his mistake, then he wouldn’t go there.
        What I suggest you do, is truly look deep inside of yourself, and think about the pros of moving and the cons of moving, and maybe even write them down, and then decide what you really want. If a move is right for you, or if you can live with being around the ow , if you think that you can find your way to trust your h while she is around.
        Remember what works for one may not work for another.
        I know since my move back, I at times feel that anxiety creeping back, back I am way stronger now, and I am happy that I haven’t seen the ow around, even though there is a chance I could. Just not sure how I will be if that happens though.

      • 2nd Time Around


        Wow!! Why on earth would you want this woman to be part of your social circle?? I can’t begin to imagine especially she has convinced your husband that what they were doing wasn’t a huge violation of your marriage!!

        Not only do you have a husband who from what you have described has no boundaries and make bad choices but you have a “friend” who is part of it? What kind of people do you want in your life?? This woman obviously has issues of her own and allowing her in your life makes them your issues.

        No contact means no contact! Of course it doesn’t matter where you go if your husband wants to cheat he is going to do it and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Yes there are woman like this everywhere.

        It sounds like you are trying to blame this other woman for your husband’s choices. Yes she may be manipulative and yes she does have the upper hand to sell (interesting choice of words) herself as the “perfect woman”. He doesn’t see her after she has spent the day cleaning before she get a shower. She only allows him to see her at her best.

        Sorry but this just sounds crazy to me! There is no way I would want to have any contact with the other woman nor would I allow my husband to have contact with her in a social situation. My husband does work with the women yes plural that he had his EAs with. But we are working toward making a move.

        We are not running away like Strengthrequired we are looking for a fresh start a renewal in our relationship. Of course that means I have to give things up but so does my husband. I really could care less what those other women do or don’t do as long as it does not have any effect on my life.

        • Strengthrequired

          2ndtime, I did not run away, I put up with my h bad choice for 10 months. I was going crazy. His ow was also a relative of his. There was always something she was trying to do, and I couldn’t take anymore. We had another property so I moved into it.
          We now sold that and are back near the ow. I have 6 children who needed a mother that was not going depressed more and more, anxiety was getting worse, chest pains all day and night. I had to get away, so I could be stronger for my children. They did not deserve to see me crumble anymore.
          So take it as you will, running away, whatever. I did what I needed.

          • 2nd Time Around


            I apologize for the typo!!! I didn’t mean to say that you ran away!!

            I was agreeing with you that it is not running away it is looking for a fresh start!! I am doing the same thing!!!

            We are in the same boat I have been dealing with my husband working with the several women that he was having EA’s with for over a year now. I wish I would have had the option to leave at least for a little while to regain my sanity but instead I have had to stay and wait until we can make a move.

            In no way did I mean to imply that you ran away!! I give you a lot of credit having to deal with 6 children alone is a huge challenge! My daughter is grown and on her own so the only person I have had to take care of is me and I have done a horrible job at that.

            I can’t even begin to imagine trying to hold it together and take care of 6 children at the same time.

            I do understand the anxiety, depression, inability to sleep and when you do you feel like you really didn’t sleep! I have had chronic anxiety and panic disorder all of my life and this situation has just made it worse. On top of that I am going through menopause so my hormones are all over the map!

            I have been hospitalized 3 times this year for chest pains. I am on more medication than you can imagine and still struggle everyday just to get out of bed. For six months I couldn’t leave the house without having a massive panic attack. The only time I would go out was to see a doctor.

            You are right your children deserve better and you had to do whatever you could to try to make it better and I applaud you for that! I am sorry that you had to move back to where the OW is and deal with the pain again. Neither you nor your children deserve to have to live like that!

            I am so sorry that you took what I was trying to say as an attack on you!! I truly did not mean to cause you any pain you already have more to deal with than anyone should. Please forgive me!

            • Strengthrequired

              2ndtime, there is nothing to forgive, typos happen… I’m sorry too, for jumping down your throat. I am still at times coming to terms with the “loss” of years. Here I was fighting for my family over a stupid cousin. Someone my h decided to feel sorry for because she would tell him what a horrible life she had with her h, now exh. She was separated and decided to latch onto my h, I guess she figured now she was available that she would try her luck. My h was ripe for the picking, due to his depression midlife, and all the other stresses raising a big family and running a business has. So she manipulated her way into his head. She made out to him that she was the perfect wife and mother, and that he would be better off with her. It all happened so quickly even he still doesn’t understand what happened.
              Half the time I don’t know worse, the humiliation of your h cheating on you, or who he cheated on you with.
              So yes, the humiliation, took its toll, having to put up with all of her attempts of getting my h away from me and his children, every time she realised I was not leaving him, or him leaving me. She even tried to get him to believe I was seeing her h, crazy, and with his state of mind at the time he believed her dribble and had to confront me. I don’t even know what her h name is, or even what he looks like. Met him once over twenty years ago, she too hadn’t been in our life for over 20 years, so for her it was “ohh no I need someone to look after me, now I have left my h, who is going to help me with my children, how am I going to pay my bills, where am I going to live etc”. All self serving, and he fell for every little bad word she said about me, without her even knowing me.
              He fell for all of her blame towards him, that he never helped her leave her h, that it was all his fault. So he wanted to make things up to her. By helping her. Yet her manipulation kept getting harder.
              His head couldn’t think straight, as if she was brain washing him.
              I tried so many times to get him to leave, so when he came up with the idea to move into our other place, I jumped at it, I was hoping he would eventually move our business there, but we just couldn’t afford to move it. He kept seeing her for another 4 months after the move, she expected him to pay for her children, give them gifts like he did with our children, he wouldn’t. She kept putting the pressure on him to leave us, and he wouldn’t, eventually he realised that she was just plain crazy. He saw things in her earlier on, but wanted to see how much more she would change. The only way I believe he could see her for what she truly was, is by him not having me around, trying to point it out. He had to see that, I wasn’t around, his children were not around, yet here he was seeing her, and her children. That I think was what woke him up. He realised that he missed us, and the only thing he had to do was drop her. He had to see that if he didn’t start changing his mindset and help himself and our family, then he would lose us.
              He always said he didn’t want to be with her, he didn’t want to leave us, but he went so downhill, practically rock bottom, he had to hit the ground hard to see what he was losing, all because of this ow.
              Until that happened he was not going to get better. I had never seen a man fall so quickly as I did him. He was always strong, and honourable, then as soon as she came back into his life, within a month he was on a downward spiral fast.
              I see the man I married more now, after almost 3 years since dday. It took hm that long to get himself back. It is like that heavy heart he had, is lighter once again. I used to tell him, when you know someone is no good for you, you don’t let them keep dragging you down, you rid yourself of them. It took hm ages to do that, as he didn’t want to be the bad person in his family’s eyes, if he just dropped her, he needed her to let go of him, even by causing arguments with her, even when he would tell her he wasn’t leaving me, she still wouldn’t.
              He had more arguments with this woman, than what we have ever had in our entire marriage. this ow did what she could, even though my youngest was one yr old at the time. She wanted him, and figured that if she got my kids too she would have more of a chance holding onto him. I was not going to let that happen, I guess why I fought so hard to protect my children from having anything to do with her. Yet they did need me strong, as I was wearing down. It’s hard to think straight when you are broken. I guess in some ways, why I could understand why my h needed me, when I could see him break. I didn’t want my children to think I could just let this ow ruin their family, ruin their dad, I couldn’t let my h believe I didn’t care, like she kept drumming into his head, how bad I was.
              So please there is no apologies needed. I’m just sorry that we all are here. Yet I think the choices we make, are what we are guided to do at the time, we may have been able to do things differently, but maybe we weren’t meant to. Maybe we are where we are supposed to be.

    • Leslie

      Horrific, terrible space. Husband moved out February amid a horrible time for me-accidents, injuries, lawsuits. Claimed he didn’t love me; thought it was stress of situation. It eased up, but I discovered an INTENSE EA with his employee. She had recited, verbatim, I don’t love you; haven’t for years to her husband. They moved out within days of one another. She started a vicious divorce in March. 3 kids. He is 52; she 50. June 6- Sept 6 tried 3 times to reconnect with agreement she would be out of picture. 3 times lied to. Secret phone etc. Last time I caught them at coffee shop and called her a terrible name. Stopped contact for a month. Seemed to have an effect for about 3 hours. Have only seen him 1 time in the last two months. Has claimed over and over he wants divorce, but doesn’t talk to attorney or file. We decided to wait until the one year mark t reassess. He refuses to be around me because “it makes him uncomfortable”. Duh. Lies will do that. Her divorce will be final November 7. They are attached at the hip. Some people know, but many don’t. He owns a very lucrative kids’ swim team. He made her his head coach. They travel together. Coach together. Eat together…. I am disgusted and shattered. How do I even get a toe in? Am moving forward etc. Do I just ride it out???

      • 2nd Time Around


        I am so sorry to hear what you have been through!!!

        Why did you decide to wait until the one year mark? If she is getting divorced, he has says he wants a divorce and they are as you say attached at the hip why wait?

        Are they living together? It appears that they are a couple and he has no intention of coming back to you. I know that hurts but based on what you have said that is what his actions are telling you.

        My concern is that he is hesitant to pursue divorcing you because he is unsure of his future with her. He is keeping you around as his “back-up plan”. I have seen this happen to other people and that is what my husband was trying to do with me. There is no question that it SUCKS!!!

        I understand the intense feeling of disgust and being shattered! My husband was the last person who anyone would have ever expected to do something like this but he didn’t just do it he did it up big!

        In the post after yours Rachel talks about a picture of a woman with greasy hair that looks horrible. That was me for several months! Since I don’t work outside of the house I would go weeks without showering, changing my cloths, or even brushing my hair. I went from one extreme to the other. I was either angry or hurt. I spent all my time either obsessing over what had happened or curled up in the fetal position in almost a coma. I am glad that Rachel didn’t have to experience the things that I did! As a matter of fact I am jealous!

        The best thing I did was find a therapist!! She pushes me to do things for me!! Not only am I moving forward but I am moving in directions that I would have never imagined. You need to take care of you!! He is not responsible for your happiness only you can make you happy.

        Unless there is something I am missing you just need to do what is best for you and let him figure out his own life! I know this is probably not what you want to hear neither did I. I wanted someone to tell me that my husband was not a bad person and that he would come back and be an amazing husband I wanted a guarantee!

        I am still with my husband. He is in personal therapy and we are in therapy together. I still do not know if we are going to stay together but we are together for now and we are working on our marriage. It is a daily battle to keep things moving forward and not allow him to sweep it under the rug and act like nothing ever happen. We have good days and really bad days.

        Like I said unless there is something else what is left to just ride out??

    • Rachel

      Doug, you know I love this site, I just have one small request. Is there any way that you can change the picture on the opening page? The one with the woman at the wooden table with greasy hair, bare arms and the blanket wrapped around her.
      Good lord she is pathetic!!!! And scary!!! Great for halloween but geez!!!!!
      I went thru hell and back but I did (somehow) managed to wash my hair and dress myself.
      Love the site and all the peeps on it!

      • Doug

        Hey Rachel, Funny that you should request that, because I actually hate it too. It will be changed within a months time as the home page will be redone. In the meantime, to skip that page, just enter the site using this url instead:

        • Doug

          OK, I thought, what the hell, and I just went ahead and put a new pic on that page. Not sure if it will be the permanent one, but it is a little less scary!

    • Nephila

      The OW was a mature age student (married and a mother) of my husband’s. Luckily she left when she graduated though she tried hard to get back to a job there. She took a job in the same city and turns up at things still. She even confronted him at his office. She simply doesn’t believe he meant to dump her even though it was 3 years ago. She will never let go or go away.

      I don’t want to be the one who has to uproot my life when I did nothing wrong. Hopefully with enough exposure she will eventually get the hell out. If he leaves his job the only place he can work is where she is now or move interstate. Sure he could do that for me but I would still be paying the price, perhaps higher.

      It is the OW who ought to have the shame to go.

      • 2nd Time Around


        Although I agree with you that is just not the way it works. As the BS we are always the ones that pay the highest price. I have had this conversation with my therapist several times.

        Does her husband know? Part of the process of ending the affair is for both parties to have a light shined on them. I know that sound rash and I am still getting use to the idea myself. But until we (the BS) stop allowing the CS hide in the shadows we are letting them off the hook. It’s not about beating them up it is about making them accountable for their choices.

        Don’t you think that her husband feels the same way you do? Why should he and his children have their lives uprooted when your husband gets to stay in his comfort zone? I know it is hard to look at the pain that others may be suffering when you are in such extreme pain. Unfortunately there are many people involved in this that are truly innocent victims especially the children. We didn’t make these bad choices our spouse did but we still pay the price for their actions one way or another.

        Just my thoughts!!

    • Nephila

      Oh yes I told him as soon as I could meet him in person without her doing a little job on him first. She was livid. He was saddened of course but clearly they had been dumping each other for ages, it wasn’t like our marriage which was happy when she went after a married man very concertedly.

      I think he got used. Yes he wanted to move back to his comfort zone but he didn’t know about the affair and in my telling him many of her lies came out. She had told him that *we would be moving overseas*! Made a huge difference to him that was a complete lie. Of course now she’s managed to move him back ignorance he’s got inertia too. No his pain isn’t the same because he and she cheated on each other forever, peas in a pod.

      So no, not like me at all!

      • 2nd Time Around


        So sorry!!! Sound like you are caught up in something that neither you or your husband have any control over. If this other couple have been cheating on each other for years chances are more people know about it than you might think! So exposure is not going to stop either of them from doing what they are doing.

        All the more reason to get out of there. Yes it may seems like you are the only one paying a price but my question to you is what do you want ultimately?

        If your husband is willing to do the work and put your marriage back together so that you have a healthy and happy relationship isn’t it worth the same price of making a move?

        It is so sad that couples stay together and instead of working on their own relationships they pull other families down with them. I grew up with a mother who cheated and a father who tolerated it for 20 years. Of course my mother thought she was discreet but not only did my father know I found out when I was 13 years old. That coupled with the fact that she was abusive to me caused me to spend most of my 20’s in therapy dealing with a host of issues.

        My father thought he was doing the right thing for the kids but the only thing it did for the kids was to cause us pain. Years later I found out just how many people had known all along what my mother was doing and it didn’t make any difference to her because she lived in her own fantasy world.

    • Jeddy

      The ow was my husbands direct report – this wasn’t her first rodeo, she’s a very disordered, married mess. But he fell hard for 5 mos, it was ludicrous and I was very suspicious, all the cliche reactions ensued. She wanted my life, ironically. He ended it, she didn’t want that, he was afraid of a lawsuit, so he kept her on for another year. Pure hell for me. When he confessed, I contacted the other husband immediately. No one was happy with me, too bad. Once she was fired, all contact stopped and/or was blocked. They’re in the same industry still (she’s umemployed and keeping a foot in, I guess) and he saw her at one event. He hasn’t been to any since, as he removes himself from the job. He very much wants to reconcile and is going thru every checklist he can find to do the right things. But I know that until we move away, 8 months from now, I will not be truly settled or “safe”. At this point, his relationship with her isn’t a threat to me, but I still feel unsure about her potential actions. She was like a tenacious terrier, and I think she isnt used to “losing”. She was an embarrassing downgrade, and a 50 yr old woman (insert sexual act here) -ing her boss at work is not sexy, it’s pathetic. Everything where we are now reminds me of what happened – so moving back (this was a 3 yr gig in the city) to our home state where the only history is ours is what I need to heal and move on. I also made it clear that he was free to stay but that I was moving regardless. This workplace crap is ridiculous – I was advised 25 yrs ago by an older woman at my job, when I was younger, that if a man in the office ever complained to me about his marriage, to look him in the eye and say, “you should be talking to your wife about this, not me.”

      Unfortunately, I’m still obsessing about this other idiot, she knows where I live, she knows how to find out (more) about my private life. I gave her husband every date, every hotel address, and every gross detail about what transpired on those visits – I let fly, I guess to take the lid off the trash can and watch the cockroaches scurry. I spent 10 mos being told it was an ea, and it’s been 6 wks since he confessed that it was sexual, and it all ended 16 mos ago. I’m pretty gutted, and again, still obsessed. Can’t wait to move home.

      • Strengthrequired

        Jeddy, just like you, my h ow wanted my life. I wasn’t so willing to give it to her.
        Yet like you, I spent 10 months of living this nightmare, not knowing what she was capable of, especially considering she wanted my h that much she started using his/our surname. So moving for me, was much a life saver for me, possibly even saved my marriage, even though we were not together often, it gave him the chance to see me not being there. She thought she hit the lottery when I wasn’t around, well her lottery ticket struck out, because four months after my move he gave her the flick.
        He even doesn’t understand why it took him so long, now he knows what he knows, now he has faced rock bottom. He sees just how much she dragged him down, and that is hard for any man to admit.
        I don’t think I would be where I am today, if not for the move. Even though we are back to our old home now, and yes the ow knows where I live, knows where my h works, unable to change numbers etc, yet I know we need to be together, and if it is here now then that is where we have to be. Once we are on our feet more, eventually we will sell and move somewhere else, but for now, I am in a better place now, than two years ago. As here was nothing but one huge trigger, one huge anxiety attack.

    • Lonely

      I’ve been dealing with this since June (it had been gong on for at least 1 yr). My husband promised he would cut all contact back in June (they work together, but had the emotional affair all through computer messaging…since they are in a room with 8 other men). August I find out he hasn’t. All through September he put me through hell as he tried to figure out who he was going to choose…me, with our 4 beautiful daughters or her, who once tried to commit suicide after her fiancee cheated on her.

      September he finally “chose” me. He told her that, but still tried to remain friends by chatting at work through computer. Beginning of October she called him out on it…she needed to move on if he chose me, she was apparently just as confused as I. He came home early that day devastated…sulked and then told me he needed me to let him go. He isn’t good with ending relationships, as much as he wanted to he knew he couldn’t do that to me. I kicked him out for the weekend & told him he has 3 days to tell me his final decision because I was done playing games. After it was all said and done he chose to stay with me (AGAIN)… Mostly because that’s what everyone wanted him to do. He had lots of resentment still to God, family, and friends…thinking he didn’t get to make his choice, everyone else did.

      He worked from home that first week (while looking for a new job), but then went in the following week to tell his bosses what’s going on. The job he applied and interviewed for didn’t pan out, which I was super bummed about. In the meantime his bosses wanted to keep him so bad that they made a new position for him, moved him out of the office (which included 5 of his good friends), and is working from home the days they are all in the office…With the exception of one day. I came to realize that if he would have switched jobs then this could have started all over without anyone knowing. Since he’s still at his job where at least 5 people know, including his bosses who bent over backwards for him, it would be irresponible on his part to keep the affair going. It’s been almost 3 weeks since that has all happened. My husband’s still SUPER sad and disconnected. He doesn’t know what to do with his feelings, if they’ll ever go away… But he’s not doing anything to help himself or us either, he’s just in limbo. Tired of feeling unwanted and unloved.: (

      • 2nd Time Around


        Are you seeing a therapist? If not do yourself a favor and find one fast!!

        If your husband wants to feel sorry for himself and blame everyone else for his choice bad or good that is his problem don’t let him make it yours.

        Both my husband and I are in therapy individually and together. The hardest part for me is that he is “broken” and because of his “brokenness” he can’t do the work that I am ready to do on our relationship.

        If you are truly committed to making your relationship work you have to realize that you are only at the very beginning of your journey it’s only been 2 months. Both my personal therapist and our marriage therapist have to remind me of that all the time. He didn’t get broken overnight and he is not going to be whole overnight.

        If you read some of the stories there are people who have been doing this for years. The ups and downs, the anxiety, pain, there is just not a simple fix. I wish there was!!

        My therapist has told me to think of this like a death. There are 5 stages of grieving before we can completely start to heal. Each of us moves through those phases at a different speed. It could take weeks, months, or years to complete the process. Sometime even if we think we have gotten to the other side of one phase it may come back up later.

        My husband is going through denial and anger and I am dealing with anger, depression, and acceptance. On days when we are both dealing with anger our lives are near impossible.

        You are loved and wanted by your four beautiful daughters! Don’t ever forget that!! Just because your husband is lost right now doesn’t mean that you are unloved or unwanted!!

        • Strengthrequired

          2ndtime, that is exactly it. Our husbands became lost….. It’s a matter of finding their way back, but sometimes they need that helping hand, or that push in the right direction. These ow do not make it easy on them to find themselves, they make it harder. What is strange is how easy it is for the ow, to brainwash them into thinking we aren’t good enough, and that we don’t love them, that they are Gods gift sent to them. I didn’t see any good in my h ow, because someone good does not deliberately set out to destroy a family, children’s lives. They do not set out to take someone else’s life. My h ow, wanted me to suffer, If I had died she would have partied. My life meant nothing to her, yet she wanted it, and was determined to get it. That to me is not a good person. Yet while our h are “lost” they just don’t see it.

    • Rachel

      All of my friends say that I shouldn’t blame the other woman.
      I say they are wrong. I feel she stroked his ego and he LOVES attention.
      They say that my ex is the one to blame.

      • Strengthrequired

        Rachel, I blame both. Him for dishonouring our vows, her for dishonouring my family, who were also her family.
        There is no excuse for guilting a married man into betraying his wife and children. What happened to sisterhood, what happened to don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like done to yourself. What happened to saying no, your married, or I’m married. Let’s talk when our situations change. When we are both available.
        The ow is not innocent, no way is she innocent, especially when they know the man is married. Since when is it ok, to expect a man who is already committed to a wife and his children, to pay things for her, to somewhat support her, to not think it is wrong.
        When is it ok, to play with a mans mind, who is already in a depressed state, for her own advantage, men who are not well, why do they keep pressuring him, when they see he is not well. That is not caring or loving him, it is manipulative and using. To see a man you supposedly care for drowning before your eyes and not helping him, is not love. What sort of woman will knowingly hang off of a married man, knowing he has no intention on leaving his wife, but still expects him to listen to her bad mouth the wife, and still drain money from him, and expect him to pay for her children, the way he does his own. What sort of woman decides to start using her affair partners surname, and is still using it to this day. Not that of a sane person.
        Not someone that is in it for love, not someone that cares for anyone else but herself. Just a selfish person, who doesn’t care who she hurts.
        So yes, she used every trick in the book, to keep thing going with my h, she knew he had young children, she came into my home and made out how excited she was to be in our life. She made him feel sorry for her, and she knew he would want to help, because that is the type of person he is. She wanted to hurt me, that is not someone that is innocent. She meant it.
        So yes, she has blame on her shoulders, she does not escape from blame.

        • Strengthrequired

          One thing though Rachel, she thought she deserved him, deserved my home, deserved our business, deserved my children, she felt she deserved my life, after only coming back into his life for a month, after not seeing him for two decades. She thought she was better than me with everything, she even told him, and when he didn’t agree she would get angry with him. She didn’t count on me fighting the way I did, she thought I would walk away, and just hand my life to her because she was so deserving.
          She thought she had beaten me, little did she know, the day I would have left him, would have been the day, I would have given her my leftovers. If he didn’t wake up, and wanted to remain an ass, then she would have been welcome to him, because they would have deserved each other, because I deserved better.

    • Jeddy

      I think people who say that about the ow haven’t been cheated on. Knowing that 2 people conspired against your marriage (maybe more if people knew and helped cover the affair), causes intense anger towards both. Also, I get to deal with my h and vent my anger and scream and ask questions – the ow is an entity I never get to confront, and she takes on a mythic level of power in my brain because I can’t deal with her or look her in the eye – hell, I’ve never even met her. I saw her once 18mos ago and thought “who’s the mouth breathing catfish working for my h?” She knew everything about me – the fact I existed should have meant something. She’s also a married mother of 4 – is she more responsible than my h? No way. But she’s culpable for my pain too and therefore gets my anger. She made decisions that affected me and my children, her h and her children. The day she, her h and I (never met them!!!!) suddenly became sexual partners, she earned my anger too.

      • Strengthrequired

        That’s exactly right jeddy, they do not deserve to be blameless, and those that say otherwise haven’t been cheated on, or have cheated. if they were cheated on their tune would change. Our cs gets to cop our anger, not all cases the ap gets to have that anger heard by us, but it does not mean we ignore the fact that the ow messed around with our husbands, fully knowing he had a wife and kids, that is when she should have said no, if he was the pursuer, and he should have said no, if she was the pursuer.

        • 2nd Time Around


          I think we are getting a little off track. Trust me I would love nothing more than to blame the other women and find ways to hurt them like I have been hurt. I am not saying we don’t have the right to be angry at them for being a participant and in some cases the aggressor in the situation but who are we in a relationship with?

          It’s our husband that made the bad choices! Yes there are a whole lot of women out there who prey on men in crisis. I can’t think of one man I know who hasn’t at some point at least had one woman in his life like this. But it all about how the man handles the situation.

          It amazes me how easily men fall for the bimbo that bats her eyes and tells him how wonderful he is! But that speaks to his character and lack of commitment to his wife and family. He never consider that just like us she has bad hair days, PMS, and is overwhelmed by the constant demands of life. He only see her at her best and never considers what she might be like at her worst.

          We are not talking about a child being preyed on by an adult. A lot of what I am hearing is that our husband’s are not strong enough, don’t know better, or lack the skills not to fall prey to these women. When we do that we are just giving them an out. They are grown men!!!

          Why are we not looking for ways to make our husband’s accountable for their actions instead of spending so much time worrying about the actions of some low life bimbo that karma will take are of in the end. I know that it may not feel that way to us right now it certainly doesn’t to me but ultimately their day will come!

          I have an enormous amount of disdain for this type of woman!! They are the reason I pick and choose my female friends very carefully. Excuse my language but most women are caddy bitches who feel they deserve to have a man take care of them. I have met many women in faithful marriages with this same issue. I can’t stand any of them.

          One of the worst things we can do is allow ourselves to get sucked into a pissing match or face to face confrontation with the other woman. In the end it usually causes us only pain. I have made this mistake and it just made the situation worse for me. It only caused the other woman and my husband momentary discomfort. I was the one who now has to live with the pain the other woman caused me directly and even worse the fact that my husband defends her lashing out at me.

          Just another perspective!

          • exercisegrace

            Actually, in many cases we are talking about an adult preying on another adult. While I agree that the vast majority of my issues are with my husband, I can also tell you that she manipulated him. I will try and give you the cliff notes version! In a very short amount of time, we lost two parents, his business nearly failed, we had a new baby, moved, lost money on real estate, and the list could go on. He became clinically depressed, but hid the extent of it from me. His “friend” at work however, freely admits she took the opportunity and “pursued him aggressively”, “before he knew what was going on”. HE thought he was getting advice from a friend and co-worker he had known for years. By the time he realized her agenda, he had made some critically bad choices. His depression deepened to the point of being suicidal with a plan. He didn’t tell me this, only her. I was begging him to go to counseling, seek medical treatment etc. SHE told him the kids and I were the problem and talked him out of seeking any help whatsoever. She told him she could “fix him”.

            The next phase of the plan was to manipulate work situations and lie to him about things people were saying and doing. She created a false sense of “us against them”. She let him think she was his only ally and supporter. As the affair moved from an EA to a PA, his depression spiraled to where he was nearly nonfunctional. He told her he didn’t know why he was doing what he was doing, that he loved me and would never leave me. She dropped enough hints here and there to make me suspicious and cause fights at what I now see were strategic times. She used our arguments to make him believe he was trapped. I would leave him if I found out. It was truly ugly.

            When he ended it with her, she tried to sue us and leveled all manor of ugly allegations. Which of course would go away if we would just cough up an obscene amount of money. She then stalked and harassed me and my children on various social media sites. Evil. Horrible. Pathological.

            So while I agree that we need to focus on our spouses and that relationship, there are many situations where there was true predatory behavior. In our case, this wasn’t her first rodeo and trust me she has finely honed hunting skills.

            • 2nd Time Around


              I hear what you are saying!! This is not my first time around with my current husband my screen name is 2nd Time Around for a reason!!

              The first time around he was preyed upon by a true predator whith whom he had a sexual affair!! As you described she too has finely honed hunting skills and had done this many times. She found “broken” men and that is how she supported herself.

              She truly was a master manipulator but when she lost she became a psychopathic killer. When my husband ending things with her she tried to have him put in jail for rape, have him fired from his job, she came after me in a variety of ways, and the list just goes on and on.

              It took months to get her to back off!! At one point I didn’t believe it would ever end. I went so far as to contact her estranged adult daughter to find out her history. It turns out that she suffered from a variety of mental illnesses and had a very long history of this kind of behavior.

              Although to this day I truly hate this woman had it not been for my husband’s poor choices none of this would have ever happened. He was vulnerable when she found him low-self esteem and depression but that is still no excuse for the choices he made.

              Even after things were over I spent a year obsessing about their relationship, her actions, his choices. I was doing damage to my relationship without even knowing it.

              That is part of the reason why he stayed “broken”. I thought I was doing things to help him get better while all along I was just setting him up for the next vixen!

              I blamed her for our issues and that was a huge mistake!

    • gizfield

      My perspective is that each Cheater is 100% responsible for their actions so each owns 50% of their actions against me. If you dont agree, that is certainly your perogative. But if you haven’t known these so called Other Women, you probably dont get how hostile and antagonistic they really are. They are your enemy, at best.

      • 2nd Time Around


        As I said in my first post I do know how vicious and manipulative these other women can be. I believe that everyone is 100% responsible for their own actions.

        My point was not who is responsible as much as who do we as the betrayed spouse need to focus on. If our husband’s continue to make bad choices the cycle will just continue. So if we take some of that energy we spend on blaming or obsessing over the other woman and refocus it on our relationship we are in a much better position to make a positive change.

    • Rachel

      I feel they are both to blame. I just want to once stare at her with no words and walk away. Closure.
      I’ll let you know when I do it.

    • 2nd Time Around


      I agree!!

      The first time around I did have direct contact with the other woman all it did was cause more pain. I wanted the same closure you were looking for but instead of getting closure it just opened up more wounds.

      I understand what you are looking for just be prepared that things may not be a simple. Even just seeing the other woman can cause you pain or a reason to obsess.

      Just be careful! Sometime we think we want to see or know something and in the end we find out we would have been better off not knowing.

    • Rachel

      2nd time around. Yes, you are so right. I’m sure all the words will come back to me. Probably not one of my best ideas.

    • amy

      Dear lisa and Doug,
      My husband cheated on me twice in 12 years with his coworkers. The second one was serious.He left his job to prove to me that his family was his priority but 5 months after leaving his job, he was still calling her n seeing her. I didnt understand this behaviour at all n constant lies of not being in contact with her. Its been more than an year since i found out about his EA. I told him to go to her if he wants but stop this charrad n lies but he prefers to stay with me and lie!! Now he has picked up a role in different country but same company about a month back but keeps in touch with me and the kids everyday and looking for a school for the kids and place for us to stay together so we all can move together. It will take me about 4-5 months to move because of the ongoing academic session of the kids. So much is happening at the same time. He says he will make everything right and make this marriage work as he cant lose me n the kids but i dont want to believe him anymore. He says he loves me n misses me but i dont feel anything. He has lied to me on so many occasions that i dont know what is truth you think it a person who constantly lied and hurt so many people can actually change?

      • 2nd Time Around


        The simple answer is yes people can change. My concern is that you don’t feel anything anymore. So why stay with him?

        Just because he has changed jobs doesn’t mean that he is no longer having contact with the other woman. Did he make the more because she moved?

        I am sure there is a lot more to your story.

      • Doug

        Amy, Anything is possible. I think you need to consider whether you want to give him the opportunity to prove himself and if you feel the relationship has any chance of being an honest one going forward. Here are a couple of posts that may give you some more to think about when you consider whether to stay together or not:

        That said, if you truly don’t feel anything for him and don’t feel that you will ever trust or believe him again, then perhaps you should consider your options with respect to divorce. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you weigh all of your options and their potential outcomes very carefully.

    • adb

      My husband had an emotional affair while working in Europe. These are jobs he is contracted to do bi annually, and he has been building up a friendship with a co-worker for quite some time and a little over a year ago, they went too far.

      Then while there, he went about covering it up, even though I felt it in my gut from afar, then when he got home diminished it as an unfortunate “slip”, which caused me even more heartbreak and distrust.

      Since then, we have come a long way, both open, honest and transparent with one another.

      However…..he has been contracted to go back to the scene of the crime every year for the next 5 years where this the affair person both resides and works for the company he has been hired to work for.

      They will be working on projects, side by side ongoingly. She also handles his “affairs” by being on call to arrange his housing and work schedule. In a short time from now, she will be promoted to work as his assistant. That means they will be planning the programs he teaches in.

      Although I have stated that him going back causes me great stress, he continues to assure me that he is no longer interested in this person. That he now realizes he was being immature, having a mid life crisis, and acting with great disrespect and inconsideration to our marriage.

      All that seems reasonable, but it still doesn’t help the anxiety and fear I feel knowing they will be working together. Plus, to be honest….while trust is rebuilding, I am still not home free.

      He also gives me the excuse that its good money, that we can’t afford to take such a drop in our income. And although I agree, I truly believe that nothing is more important than our marriage. Yet, me asking him not to go back doesn’t feel right. Can lead to resentment.

      Some say, I should go with him. I dont agree. I dont want to be his baby sitter. Plus, I have my own responsibilities at home.

      I know he will do his best to be honorable, but they do get a long very well, combined with working together could very likely create future crossing of boundaries that he may not realize given that there are some blind spots in his awareness around the, “whats the big deal, we are just friends” factor.

      And, lets be real….him being in a foreign country, away from home, around a person who has her own agendas around schmoozing with the boss to get up the ladder of life, combined with very low morals is going to drive me bonkers.

      This feels like a no win situation. I am damned if he goes, damned if I ask him not to go because he’d be doing it for me because he’s in the mind set that they are very good opportunities for both his career and the income that we will make from them, that could give us more money to enjoy vacations.

      I honestly am at my wit’s end. I know I am suffering from Post infidelity Stress Disorder, aka they say PISSD, but at this point, isn’t it my responsibility to get past this and not ask him to alter his life for my pain? Again, asking him not to go seems both fair and unfair if he claims he’s done. Now I guess its my turn to let this unfortunate situation go. Just not sure if I can with him returning back to this place with this woman around him all the time. This truly sucks.

      • 2nd Time Around


        I understand the feeling! My husband works with his affair partners everyday. It can drive you completely insane if you let it. Although he is very proactive at finding another position in the meantime he still works there.

        In the beginning I would ask him to change certain things. It would cause many bad feeling between us. Finally my therapist told me that unless it is his idea and he makes the change without me freaking out on him it was pointless. I took a long time to get use to this new way of thinking.

        Now I just tell him how I feel about something and let him decide what to do with it. I am now in a position to decide if I can live with his decisions.

        So the answer is two fold. Yes you are responsible for your reactions but he is responsible for his choices.

        I personally would have to throw up the BS flag on this one. He is obviously choosing his career and money over his relationship. If choosing to do something different would cause him pain well he brought that on himself and if he is accepting responsibility he has no reason to resent you.

        • adb

          Hello Second Time Around,

          Before I begin, I want you to know that your letter brought me much comfort and I appreciate your wise words. I am so sorry you have to put up with your husband working with this AP. What a heartache. I can’t imagine how this would be. Is she still there? How are you handling this?

          In my situation, hubby goes to Europe twice a year and teaches in a program there for 2-3 weeks at a time. This is the AP’s home town, and they both work in an educational system where she is his teaching assistant.

          France is known for not making much of a big deal with extramarital affairs. Especially this AP who has apparently gone after married men before. So in her mind, its no big deal.

          9 hours time difference, in a foreign country where they drink stay up late and drink wine. This is how it happened. They started off a few years ago as “just friends” working together, then after a few nights out getting inebriated, laughter and flirtations began. Thats when I began to feel it from afar.

          Kind of funny, but maybe not. Birds started crashing into the windows of our home. As if a message was saying, “someone is envying your home”. Then my stomach began to hurt. I knew he was having an affair and denied it on the phone while she was in his apartment in the other room.

          Because my husband was in a precariously immature place in his development, he let his ego and esteem take over when she began to compliment and look up to him as her mentor.

          Fortunately he didn’t take it too too far. I am not saying that an emotional affair is nothing, in many cases its worse than sexual. But he held back and came home with all sorts of lies and deceptions which made this situation even more traumatic. Trust went down the drain and has been building up slowly ever since. Thank God because he’s been consistent, transparent and extremely remorseful. Doing lots of therapy and soul searching.

          I like what your therapist suggested and I am going that route. I personally dont want to demand he not go back this spring, but he certainly knows how I feel.

          His excuse is that the money he would be making from these jobs could give us the freedom to take quality time vacations. Which is what we’ve been doing since his affair. We bought an Airstream and have some very lovely trips, one on one with the dogs.

          So he’s saying, the loss of income would cut into our vacation time. Which makes sense.

          By the way, this affair happened a year and a half ago and he returned on the anniversary of it, last Spring. I was a wreck.

          He had a quick sit down with this girl and said that what happened was a huge mistake, that he loves his wife and they could never ever socialize or be friends again. That he intends to keep it professional and hopes she will do the same. She agreed.

          But still….him going back,them working together, of course there will be laughing and letting down of guards…I am very fearful that attractions can revisit and things could happen again.

          He says, there’s no way in hell this could happen. He’s not even attracted to her anymore.

          I say…you just never know. Spending time together, even if its all about the profession, can still stir the pot.

          And even if he is no longer attracted. Lets be real here.
          I’m JEALOUS! I dont want this %*@? around my man. Not even for a minute.
          I dont want them sharing the same space, even talking. I wish she would just disappear off the face of the earth.

          And the bugger is, he has contracts to work there for the next SIX years.
          Between you and I, I find that because he signed contracts, it keeps me from truly letting the dust settle. And because of the fear and anxiety of knowing he’s going back, I subliminally won’t let myself fully let down my guard. This is the crux of this whole conversation.

          So you know. He and I decided that I would go with him this next trip in Spring.
          Its the one time I can actually get away. Generally I have obligations.

          I have asked myself if being in this town with him is going to reduce my post trauma, but in all honesty, I doubt this will make any difference. I am mainly going to stand by his side, so that we can make new memories and associations in a town that we never shared before.

          Facing this girl and knowing how to act (or not) will be yet another challenge and I would love your advice on how to handle that one.

          Anyway, thanks for your reach out. I think my reply will answer some other questions from other readers.

          • Strengthrequired

            Adb, it’s funny how you mentioned the birds flying into the windows of your home, before I found out about my h affair and even for a while after, birds were doing the same here. I didn’t think anything if it, until just now after your comment. When someone envies what you have it can literally destroy you. My h ow wanted nothing more than to have my life, my h and children. She wanted everything my h and I had worked for to be hers. I guess that envy is what drove her in her quest to have my h, and why she was so hard to get rid of.
            However as they work harder to keep the man, they become more fake, and that’s where their mistake happens. No one can keep up with fakery, because it eventually shows itself.
            I am happy to hear, you will be going with your h, this ow needs to see where her place is, and it isn’t on the arm of your h. She needs to see you and him together happy.

            • adb

              Ya know, I dont want to give this bitch any of my power. Dont need to show that my h and I are happy, which we are, no thanks to her.

              I am going with him to rebuild positive pathways and make new and happy memories together.

              Big question, how do I keep myself from spitting in her eye when I see her?

            • Strengthrequired

              You might have to be tied down for Honestly I would love the ow in my life seeing my h and I together, happy and just loving each other, with our children being a family. She thought she could destroy my family, to have her see all of her attempts to bring my down fall so she could have my family have failed miserably, to shove it right back in her face and to see her crushed and feeling miserable after all she put me and my children through would be the highlight of my day. Yet I don’t see that happening so I will imagine it instead. Lol.
              The only thing is she won’t suffer seeing it near as much as what I did, but it will at least be some satisfaction on my part. My h ow always thought my h wanted her, would tell him she knows he is only with me because of our kids, that she knows his heart is really hers. So for that thought of hers to be crushed, seeing us after all that we have gone through, would hopefully end up having her think differently.
              They say karma is a bitch, I just hope when she sees karma, I’m right there to witness karma leash itself on her.
              You enjoy yourself and make those wonderful new memories.

            • Blue

              adb, This is my advice to you: Your spit’s too good for her. Don’t even acknowledge her. Talk to your husband before, rehearse if you have to. Make sure he looks you in the eyes lots when SS (skanky slut) is around, holds your hand or has his arm around your waist. Get him to whisper things in your ear that take no less than 10 seconds- even if he’s just counting. Don’t even look at her. If you walk by her don’t look. Act with grace and class, because she doesn’t give a rats ass about you and will only get off in seeing you skurm. Ask your husband if he’s capable of this. (then wish a fly up her nose )

            • adb

              Ha ha Blue. You made my day. I love the 10 second whisper in my ear tactic. I am sure hubby will play along with me. He’d better, ha ha.

              Thing is, I will be by my husband’s side when we both initially walk into the venue and its her duty to come up to welcome him.

              Since I will be there, do I look away, look thru her. Not so easy to stay neutral in the face of this….as you put it….”swanky slut”.

            • Strengthrequired

              Can’t you both just try and avoid her, as she is walking up to welcome you, can’t you just not acknowledge her, or maybe as she comes and welcomes you, just by accident walk or stand on her foot, and smile like nothing happened.
              Sorry but these ow, just make me mad, and I’m tired of being nice to them, lol

            • adb

              I cannot avoid her. I am thinking about possibly going with him on his next job to Europe. If so, I will most likely go to his job the first day where she will be there to greet him. If I am standing by his side, which I surely will….I will be face to face with this skank. Need to figure out how to be in that moment. Look away, thru or over her head. Definitely not meet and greet.

          • 2nd Time Around


            First yes my husband still works with his affair partners . . . yes plural. I just take it one day at a time and do my best to focus on healing me and watching to see if he is living up to his end of the agreement. Some days are easy and other days are down right out of control.

            I still question your husband using the excuse of the money will allow him to do things for you. Is he just trying to ease his own guilt? I think it is great that the two of you have had some quality time together but at what price? Your sanity is certainly not worth it!

            You said you are going with him on the next trip. I can see some very positive things about doing it as long as you are being honest with yourself. Making memories with him in the place where his affair took place can be a double edged sword.

            I have tried to go places with my husband that he took his affair partners and I have yet to be successful at doing it without thinking about the affairs. Maybe it’s because those places are still triggers for me and I may or may not one day be able to get past it.

            Another double edged sword is going to be having to deal with your husband’s affair partner while you are traveling with him. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. Personally after having to face my husband’s affair partners (yes once again plural!) the first time around this time I have chosen to avoid them like the plague! I don’t want to know their last names or any personal details about them. That is the only way I can avoid obsessing over them.

            I would not be able to travel with him because I would not have my safe place to go to if things became overwhelming. I have not moved on enough to give up my security blanket so to speak.

            One example is we live about 4 hours from my husband’s parents. Over the last two years he has made two trips alone to his parents house. He did not take his affair partners but he did do other things that involved his affair partners like spend his drive fantasizing about them. We have been talking about going to his parent house for Thanksgiving for the last week. I didn’t put two and two together until last night but I have been having horrible panic attacks for the last week.

            Just the thought of making that trip freaks me out! I know it sounds crazy but because he has made such bad decisions it’s the little things that I have not found a way to let go of yet. I would love to see my in-laws but I don’t know if I will be able to enjoy the trip without all those old feelings coming up.

            Are you in therapy? Maybe you are at a place that you can do it without having the same issues I am having.

            All I do know for sure is you don’t want to get into a conversation about the affair with the other woman. BIG mistake!! First she will give you her idealized vision of what happened, she will probably lie to you, and she may tell you things that your husband has not told you yet. All bad stuff!!

            This is a great place to find other people who are experiencing the same things you are and to find insight that you may not have otherwise considered.

      • exercisegrace

        You need to decide what is best for YOU. I can only speak for myself, but I would likely be so stressed and suspicious while he was so far away, that I would cause fights. Then I would be afraid that our fights would drive him back to his whore. THEN I would determine to kiss his butt and be the nicest, most understanding wife EVER…which in turn would make me ticked off for having to…once again…..not be true to my own feelings.

        Is it your responsibility to “get past this and not ask him to alter his life for my pain”? NO. NO it is not. It is HIS responsibility to step up and own what he did. Part of owning that, means he understands there are consequences to to CHOICES. Only you can decide what you can or won’t tolerate. Is there anyway you can go with him? Another question is… long has it been since the affair, and how much counseling has he had? Where is his accountability. If you talk to counselors and read about affairs, most say that affair is never truly over until there is no contact. It can cloud and confuse emotion and it keeps a CONSTANT element of fear and distrust in the marital relationship. It would simply be a deal breaker for me, and if he insists on going back? Well then he has told you something about HIS character.

        • 2nd Time Around


          I agree with you!! I am interested in hearing her answers to your questions.

          You are right that it is NEVER over until there is NO CONTACT!!! After four months my husband is FINALLY starting to get that! He thinks it is over for him but I know that under the right circumstances that could change in a minute! It certainly is not and will not be over for me until he changes jobs!

          You talked about this guy’s character . . . what does it say that he is trying to bribe her with vacations??? Definitely as BS flag!!

          • exercisegrace

            I feel like I can speak to this because my husband ended his affair without being caught and worked with his affair partner for a year after it was over. His affair partner assured him it would not be an issue for them to continue to work together, and that she could separate business form personal. YEAH. RIGHT. In truth, she continued to pursue him but in very subtle ways. And while he never gave in, the damage was done. As long as she was anywhere in his world, the fog could never fully lift. There was still darkness surrounding him. He still clung to his justifications and some of our history the two of them re-wrote.

            When she had finally left (and outed the affair in a fit of rage) it took months for him to fully return to the husband I knew. I actually had to show him evidence that some of the things he “remembered” were not that way at all. Thankfully there were concrete ways to prove certain events. Recovering from an affair is hard enough. If the cheating spouse is serious about rebuilding and truly remorseful, then they should be willing to do whatever it takes to create a safe environment for the betrayed spouse. It is not up to the spouse to give in, make ridiculous concessions on such large issues or grant immunity to their cheating spouse just because that spouse doesn’t want to face the consequences of what they have done.

    • Jeddy

      Exercise grace: similar story, oddly. H and ow worked together, started affair, lasted (who knows) 5 months. He ended it and they decided to keep it hush hush, proceed as if nothing happened. Right. Except I had started getting physically ill right when the affair started (vomiting a lot) and he was so cagey and so secretive, and the common theme was her. 5 months later, after I see bizarre texts (2am Saturday to your boss? Really?), h confesses to an ea. continues to work with her, my vomiting starts up again. She gets terminated in the summer, one year after the affair ended, and so much strain on the marriage. 10 months later, just 6 wks ago, h tells me it was physical. Cue the vomiting. She did not want to end the pa, she told him they were doing nothing wrong, (she’s married, 4 kids), that she wasn’t a psycho and they could continue professionally (she was his direct report). But she couldn’t stand snapping her fingers and not having him jump, so she upped her game – she came to family functions for my in laws to see if he’d respond – I refused to go, so I was the bitch wife, naturally. Since my h was afraid of a lawsuit, and she considered herself a hillbilly no man could resist, my husband decided to keep me unsafe, in the dark, and the family harpy for 18 months, instead of respecting me and my health and putting his shame and fear aside.

      I sent her h every detail I knew, hotel, dates, copy and pasted crap his w emailed my h. I let fly to him, in a very vulgar way. Since she had behaved so crassly and sick, I didn’t see the need to mince words to spare him.

      Like you, he had lied for so long about things being my fault, in order to control the narrative and justify his stepping out, that he maintained a lot of those lies even after the a ended.

      So here I am, needing std testing, feeling like a crazy person, detesting the trailer tits ow (who I’ve met once, 2 yrs ago) with a passion, and so angry and hurt at my h for the disrespect and invalidation.

      Not sure where to go from here. H is shamed and remorseful and humiliated and disgusted. I love my husband and I have for 25 years since I was 18, but I think this is going to be very difficult to forgive.

    • Rachel

      Geez jeddy,
      So sorry that you have to go thru all of this crazy stuff.
      Boy, you are one strong person.
      These ow think that they are so privileged , makes me sick.
      Good luck !

    • Casey

      For the past 4 months, my husband has been having at the very least, an emotional affair. Every Saturday since August, he meets this divorced woman at their office and then they take off for the day to make sales calls, returning after 7 pm and sometimes later. I now see this is a relationship and they like each other, if not love each other. If it wasn’t, she would not be available to him every Saturday for the past 16 weeks – She’d be doing other things with other people. I call Saturday their standing “rendevous day.” He also sees her during the week when she’s not working at her other job. He claims he is mentoring her.At this point, it’s out of control. I’m not sure I know what to do.

    • Confused

      I know this is an old post but I’m going to comment anyway. Maybe someone is still out there to hand me some advice.

      3 weeks ago I found out my wife of 13 years has been having an affair with a coworker for a year now. When I confronted her with the emails I found, she admitted everything. She said it turned sexual 5-6 months ago.
      The emails were pretty hard to read. They both spoke of a day when they could get married and she referred to him as her “future husband” and how they couldn’t wait to see each other again.
      I confronted the guy in a phone call. He told me about how much he loved my wife and was going to leave his wife for her. He has 2 daughters under the age of 10 and we have an 11 year old son.
      I gave my wife a choice, him or me. She said she was sorry and wanted to work it out and try to salvage what we have. She said that there would be no contact short of work related items of which they have very little. They work in different areas of the building and normally only see each other in passing or at the coffee pot. The other guy gave me his word as a man; which I questioned; there would be no further contact.
      Here is the run down of the last three weeks. He and his wife are in counseling. My wife has been awesome and trying her hardest to get us over this hump. The time we have spent together these past few weeks has been amazing. Date nights, she has been posting pictures of us, movies on the couch, etc.
      This morning I checked our phone bill and found that contact has not stopped. They speak twice a day by phone. In the morning after I leave for work, then again in the evening while I’m at the gym. Multiple texts everyday and picture msgs.
      I asked her to be honest with me about it. She denied it. Then she got mad and asked me why I was snooping around. Then she addmitted to it and said she didn’t think i would have understood. She said that a lot had happened and it was about closure. She said it was friendly and innocent and swears that nothing is going on. They were only talking about how things were going well with his wife and she was telling him how we were doing better. He was sending pictures of himself, his wife and his daughters to show her things were good. She apologized and again agreed to cut all contact. I guess it nice she has had someone to talk about this mess. I’m too embarrassed to talk to anyone.
      Now I am left scratching my head again. My wife is the last person I would have ever expected to do any of this. If anything, I would have expected me to do these things because that’s the kind of person I was until I met her.
      I know what I want to do and I know what I should do. They are two different things.
      So now, I just feel lost. The person I have trusted more than anyone else in my life has destroyed me. Our son would be devastated if we split. Just kinda blowing in the wind now.
      Thanks for the ear

      • Shifting Impressions

        I am so sorry you are going through this. But it’s not nice that she has someone to talk to about it if that other person is the affair partner…….that’s just cruel.
        She really broke your trust.

        The best advice I can give you is…..find someone you can talk too. A counselor or a close trusted friend but someone. It’s too hard to go through this alone.

        Also educate yourself on affairs…..this blog is a good resource and a good place of support.

        Take care of yourself.

    • C

      Dear Confused,

      Your story is so similar to mine. Last December my husband was promoted twice within a rather quick period to the executive level at work. It was a new job he had only been there for 5 months when he got the first promotion. My first hints were how admiringly he began to speak about his boss the CEO. How smart, how experienced, how much he could learn from her, etc.

      Within two months it began to be about their “synergy” how they made such a great team, how they were doing such amazing things at work that no one else could do or build.

      Then he was promoted again with her help and support. His career goal achieved ( all because of her not because of my or anyone else’s support over the last 12 years) to hear him tell it.

      It was amazing how his entire personality changed, he treated me like crap for 6 months. I wasn’t passionate enough about life, I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t wear the right clothes, I didn’t have the kids in the right school and activities, we didn’t take the right vacations, have the right friends, and above all I didn’t treat him the way he deserved to be treated.

      Here are some of the most hurtful things I was told
      I never really loved you.
      I was miserable for the last 12 years.
      I never wanted three kids.
      She is my best friend.

      After those 6 months of hell and lies and me turning myself inside out to fix it finally the truth came out. That was last August. I wish I could say that everything is better now but it isn’t. They still work together and some days I am still a wreck, damn triggers.

      Two months of him acting like a complete insensitive poop followed. It was like he just shut down. I had to call my mom into town to help take care of the kids because I was so shell shocked that I was forgetting to feed them and even forgot to send them to school the second day. Didn’t matter how much I pleaded for him to help he just couldn’t? I think he was too much in his own head to be if any help to me. They continued to communicate with each other about their personal lives.

      Four months out and we still fought, no longer was I trying to explain my pain. I realized he gets it he just didn’t want to make any changes to his behavior. I would catch inappropriate messages texting about what we were doing on the holidays commenting on each others Facebook postings and predictably loose my shit. He would promise it was just work friendship nothing more and it had to be this way for him to do his job at this level.

      5 months out I gave him an ultimatum. Leave the job and this crap behind or I am done you have 6 weeks to make it happen.

      He has been doing some self searching and distancing himself from her during this time. We even took a vacation with the kids, something I had been begging we do since I found out about the affair to get away from it all and clear our heads.

      6 months and two weeks out was last week, he turned in his resignation. It isn’t official until they tell the board which should happen today but wouldn’t you know it last night and today he is having second thoughts and trying to make me make the decision for him. he can fix everything and still be there he says. He will work less and they don’t have to be workfriends anymore he will do all the things to rebuild trust and it can all happen while he gets to keep his fancy title and big salary. Too good to be true? I think so.

      Yet the decision is his ultimately. I don’t know if an ultimatum was the way to go, though our therapist and all the parents think it was. I wonder if he would have gotten to this point in his own time. I can only decide if I give him the time to try it his way or if I insist on mine or we separate.

      If we didn’t have kids I would have been gone the minute things went sour between us I stayed and my self esteem was on lifesupport by the time the truth came out as a result of the gaslighting and verbal abuse.

      I have since gone on antidepressants for the anxiety and depression, gotten a job so I will never feel helpless about being unable to support my kids again, and envolved myself in our community to make friends outside his work social circle. I am a better stronger person now than I was a year ago. But I am also a person who has lost and who still suffers.

      The best advice I can give you is to stop caring. That life you had is gone, the person you married a memory. What you have now is a broken unworthy shell which may take months to refill with a real person capable of remorse, caring and empathy for the destruction they have caused with their selfishness. You can wait it out or you can be done. What you can’t do is change it. No matter how much you cry, scream, or work on things you can’t erase the betrayal from your story, ever.

      I will say it again, if I didn’t have kids I wouldn’t be here. Get out if you can. Lead your own life and focus on you she will come around in time or she won’t but believe me you will cause your self lots of pain if you are around for that process.

      Best wishes to you, I am truly sorry you are experiencing this.

    • Rachel

      Confused & C
      Boy those cheating spouses must have a manual to follow because they are all alike!!!
      Their soulmates are just incredible that they are leaving their families to be together. Lol
      Just remember it’s not you it’s them. They just bring you down to justify their cheating. It’s hard to break up a family but it’s also hard to be mistreated by someone we thought we knew. Someone that we thought we would grow old with. Yet, sometimes we are not the ones they choose. Someone they can be faithful with.
      Just remember whatever way the road goes, take care of yourself. Believe in yourself and understand as much as they blame you, it’s them with the problem.

    • Ashley

      I’m reminded daily of a quote I heard years ago. “Only the earth and sky last forever”. I caught my spouse in his lies a month ago and he had no choice but to confess. We’re trying to work things out but it’s hard. I’m 65 and cancer is hopefully being controlled but I no longer feel safe. Feeling safe was never anything I really worried about before…..

    • Ernie

      To all these spouses on here who got heated on….I don’t see hardly any commentary about “why would YOU stay with them without question?” Isnt that the first thing here? Why is there no mention of should I stay or leave? It’s just like this instant: how do we move on with our marriage? Listen, they cheated on you! What does that say? Why be a fool. Trust me they knew what they were doing and likely also realized you’d react just this way. So why wouldn’t they do it? Nothing to lose really. They play as long as they want them go back to the family without much consequence in the end. Someone explain. What is wrong with you that you immediately just want them back? This sounds pathetic. And enough of the victim stuff. Adults. They both did what they wanted. Don’t believe their lies, they say whatever they need to get back to a “peaceful” home once they got out of the affair no matter how it ended or who ended it.

      • MakingItWork

        Ernie, I stumbled across your comment just now (almost 3 years later) and HAD to reply. You asked why people don’t ask the question whether to stay or leave. What you don’t realize is people ask that question to themselves all the time! It is a struggle for many people to stay. There are situations in which that is not a viable option. For me, it’s my children. They are the why.

        I mean, why should I have to spend less time with my children because of my CS’s indiscretions? Because if we divorced, I will not see my children anywhere from 30%-50% of the time. Is that fair? It’s not fair.

        My husband still works with his ex AP and though he has made some modifications, it still sucks! But I at least get to tuck in my children in every night. I get to spend all holidays with them. I get to make them breakfast, take them to school, etc… So … I stay for my children. I keep an open eye too. I will not forget what happened and I will not be walked over. But my children … they are WORTH IT!

    • Michele

      My husbands previous EA partner at work is a repeat offender. She has gone after many men! Human resources knows her name for this reason. I am amazed that a company continues to keep someone like this employed. I would think she is a liability and they are at risk of a harassment lawsuit. But maybe this has become so common that they don’t care.

    • Cinnamon

      My husband’s OW is so lonely she never made a life for herself was engaged twice one an alcoholic and the other a drug addict. She hired my husband as he is a tile setter and she was remodeling her home. According to what I hear she is very flirtatious, with all men. My husband got caught up in the ego boosts (she told him he is the best tile setter anywhere) Time goes on they become close friends hooking up occasionally for lunch or hanging out to have a beer. Calling and texting, messages. I noticed his grooming was excessive and he was very distant. After it all came out I read a text that she sent to him about three months into the friendship,that said” now remember when I invite you over its because I consider you my friend and enjoy your company, but I will not get in the middle of your marriage.” Why would you encourage a married man to lie and sneak around so that he can keep you company? I asked my husband what they were doing he said nothing we were just hanging out. Next time he said he does’nt know or does’nt remember. I told him you dont know what you were doing but you knew you had to lie and sneak around to do it. I explained to him that the two of them are pathetic For ow to encourage him to lie etc to come over and keep her company and him to say they were’nt doing anything just hanging out talking.. When D day came he claimed it was not an affair and then he added she wanted me, I said to him she can have you because apparently you two have alot in common, both of you make bad choices. I told him he is a fool to believe that she broke off her engagements to an alcoholic and then a drug addict do you think she really wants to get tangled up with a married man. In the end I told him you two were having fun playing your games however my life is not a game. And neither are my kids. He said they are my kids too, I told him to start acting like a father. OW does not have any children and she is older than both of us so what does she care, I get the impression that she thinks this is her world and were all just living in it. I asked him what he wanted at this point he said his marriage, I explained all contact needed to stop because you brought her into your life, made her a priority over myself and our children and basically allowed her to infiltrate the marriage. He agreed, however because on D-day when I confronted him and told him I overheard numerous conversations he denied it and was telling everyone I was lying about him having an affair, I ordered all the cell phone records. When the records arrived he said I had no right to snoop, I replied he had no right to call me a liar. And futhermore I have the right to defend myself against someone who is accusing me of lying. At that point the records proved that the day after we talked and I said all contact needed to stop, the very next day she sent him a text and he called and talked to her, I would have assumed he would have told her all contact needed to stop but the next day he called her again. Three days later he came home from work and I had all the cell phone bills laid out on the table he panicked got in his truck and left, I had offered to work graveyard shifts so I left for work at 11:00 my son got a hold of him and he came home by 11:15. The next day I explained to him I knew where he was and actually started to leave early and drive to her house and confront them. I invited him to leave and take his belongings with him and go live his secret life. He broke down and said he had become obsessed, he knew she did not want him in any way more than a friend. After that no more contact, and then three months later she inquired about having her kitchen floor tiled, she left a message on his phone, he called her back from my sons cell phone and they talked for about 25 minutes. That day when he came home I said I know that they are still sneaking around, He became very upset,I let him know that I am calling her right now. I called her introduced myself and told her she is welcome to him and in fact I will have his belonging delivered to her house tomorrow. She replied ” I dont want him and he knows that” I let her know that since the day they met he became a liar and a sneak and thats not the kind of person I want in my life either I said since you encouraged him to keep hooking up I think they belong together, she said that would never happen. She said they just have alot of contractor friends in common. I said whatever your bond is with him it has taken a priority in his life. And I did not ask to be brought into their game and do not appreciate the lying and sneaking around. By the end of the call my husband was clearly distraught I hung up and got in my car and left. In the end I think that he was obsessed and she liked the attention, her goal may not have been to have an affair and because she never was able to accomplish a long term relationship with any man she has never had to share with anyone so in her mind everything revolves around her. Its very sad because like I said she is lonely, she sees her friends who have managed to have husbands raise kids who grow up and bring you grandchildren. She is older than my husband and I both and more than likely will never have what we have. I hope that after we talked she can see that befriending someones husband is probably not a good idea.

    • Michele

      This is my current nightmare. It’s even worse when my husband sends him away for two weeks at a remote work camp with dorm-like housing. They have a cafeteria where they eat, and their own bedroom with an adjoining bathroom between the rooms. He literally could be sleeping with her every night he’s at work and I have no way of finding out for sure. I’m supposed to just trust and believe nothing is going on when she helps him do his laundry at night. I asked if I could meet her, and he was really uncomfortable with this idea but said he wouldn’t have a problem with it. I have her phone number and address and email, but I’ve never seen a picture of her. Possible the back of her, but never her face. The hurt and anger are still really strong, but I’m trying every day to stay and work this out.
      The only women I think that could relate to my situation are women who have husband’s in the military that is sent away for months, swing or night shift spouses, truck driver wives, and business travelers. All have so much opportunity, it’s so sad and disappointing.
      My husband said to me after I confronted him that “He doesn’t shit where he eats” well that didn’t make me feel any better, and the texting has appeared to stop, but they still play Words with Friends and Chess… really? How many women do you know that like to play Chess? um known! I have at least another 10 years of this before he retires. He said he can’t change his schedule to be opposite to him, it would be uncomfortable and awkward to ask the boss for a schedule change….but saving your marriage isn’t that important?

      • Cie

        Dear Michele,
        Sounds like a very worrisome situation for you. It is difficult to trust (no matter how much you may want to trust your husband) after he hurt you. Is he really sorry and full of regret? Why does this woman help with his laundry? Do you want to contact her? Meet her in person? Does she feel regret for her part in it? Advice is always free. My advice is to think what you feel would be the most positive outcome for you. Would it be so bad to contact her? If in a calm straightforward manner with decorum (difficult I know) and request she not be involved with him in any form. Laundry and hanging out when not working is involvement. Would this upset your husband? Or would he see it as giving him a reason to avoid her during non working time? Ask him what he thinks of this idea ( if you think it is something you’d want to do) before making contact. I don’t know you but I know the devastation of betrayal. It isn’t fair to you. I also know what it is like to be a doormat and what it is like to stop being a doormat. What you must be going through is stressful. You must stand up for yourself. Try to be and stay strong. My husband got caught up in a sexually emotional affair. It ended when I texted her. He was relieved it was over as he regretted everything and the guilt was terrible.

    • Michele

      Thank you for your response. He told me he would ask her to stop texting him. But didn’t follow up to let me know. Later he was complaining that our older son would say he was going to do something and then wouldn’t and was claiming our son wasn’t “a man of his word”. So I followed up by saying that he wasn’t a man of his word either. That he said he would ask her to stop personally texting him and to only keep it work related. So he texted her right then saying “ We should stop texting each other, the wife isn’t down with it. Please keep all texts work related.” He also gave his passwords to me and leaves his phone alone with me. He screen shot the text he sent it to me too. I screenshot and saved it on my phone too. He still works with her, and I still have no way of knowing what their relationship really is. I’ve since told him that I forgive him and I trust him. (Reverse psychology). We’ve gone to Europe together and are planning on building a retirement home in his home state. Our adult sons know nothing or any of our family and friends. If I ever meet this woman, I will stand before her and in front of him and her apologize for disrespecting her by accusing her of having a personal relationship with my husband and thank her for taking care of his laundry. I just want to see the look on her face. I will do it with grace and dignity.

    • Wildflower

      My Spouses emotional affair partner works in Human Resources!!

      • Michele

        I’m reading a book and listening to a podcast called The Empowered Wife by Laura Doyle. She shares some intimacy skills & phrases we can use on our husbands to bring them back to us and away from whoever is stealing their attention from us.
        They’re really hard to do with him because I’m still hurt and angry, but I really want this to work out, so I’m going to try them out for a month and see how we’re doing.
        You’re not alone.

    • Betrayed Business Person

      My spouse had an EA with a co-worker a few years ago. We have our own business and both us and our eldest child work there. Once I noticed, the two of them swore it was all over and they were ‘all business’ but I found evidence to the contrary at least three times since then. I continue to be triggered, distrustful and upset. I have asked my spouse to get rid of the AP, even offering to find AP a great job and write them glowing recommendation, but my spouse insists the business cannot run without AP. I have tried to get my spouse to work out what it looks like if I, as a principal, leave the company. Spouse refuses to talk about either option. AP walks around the office in smug satisfaction that I can do nothing. Some boundaries have been drawn and spouse and I get along surprisingly well when not on site, but we are coming up on two years of this now and even after making it clear 6+ months ago that I will not tolerate this unsustainable situation, nothing is being done. I hate to throw away a multi decade marriage, but if I want to be treated with respect, I have to surround myself with people who respect me. When I reach my breaking point, and say I’m leaving now, have your AP and have a nice life, I know they will ask for more time to find, train a replacement, to find AP a job and so on. but at that point I will just have to say “you’ve had YEARS! You made your choice.

    • Jack

      I confronted my wife’s AP and made him find a new job at a new school when the school year ended. He was happy I wasn’t going to tell his wife about the affair and didn’t budge when told he needed to move on. Two years on and we’re still working through it. Did it help? Not sure yet, but it made me feel better despite it not having the magical results I had hoped.

    • Nicole

      Infidelity can be traumatic, causing intensely painful emotions for the person who was cheated on. They may actually experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including heightened anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and emotional distress. Some individuals may try to protect themselves by avoiding reminders of the trauma and restricting their lifestyle to limit triggers.

      “Cheating/infidelity is not something you do by mistake because you can’t control yourself or YOU are unhappy.“Every action you make is approved by your brain which means YOU made a choice to make another human being feel miserable by enjoying your moment of happiness.”

    • Cris

      My husband came clean about three years ago about his emotional affair with a coworker. He still works for the job but from home. Every once in a while he will get an email strictly about work. Unfortunately, it still affects me as he is communicating with her. He has tried to leave the job but I get really scared because I don’t want to lose everything we have. But I am truly dying inside because it’s a double bind. If he stays I am constantly tormented and if he quits we might lose everything we have. This is so hard. I constantly live in anger and have put up walls between our marriage. I love my husband but I hate what he did to our life. Sometimes I just feel stuck and hopeless.

    • Michele

      I hear you. Mine still works with his emotional affair partner too. I just recently found out that she had bought him a Keepsake ornament a few years ago of his favorite sports team. He never brought it home to our family tree but kept it at work and displayed it in his workspace. I saw it while visiting him one day. When I asked him who got it for him he said one of his co-workers, Bob or John….. Really? He wants me to believe that some guy he works with bought another man a Christmas ornament. He didn’t think to throw it away after I grew suspicious?
      I just feel really disrespected by both of them. I just wonder what the people who work with them think about both of them and what they think about me.
      He’s never introduced me to her. I don’t even know what she looks like and if we’re with his other co-workers no one speaks her name in front of me while they gossip about each other. Hmmm… I wonder why that is? It’s what is not said now that I pay more attention too.

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